NEW MUSIC ALERT!
I am so stoked to announce I have a new single dropping soon! I got to spend one day, perhaps the best day of 2020, at OCL Studios tracking on my new song Stealing from My Youth which will be released October 23!!!
To back track a little and give some insight, I’ve released 3 singles over the last 3 years. Going into 2020 I was hoping to record again and then BAM you guessed it, pandemic. At first, as most artists and musicians, I was distraught. My motivation for all things music went down the tube. Everything felt so uncertain and to be honest for a solid month or so I didn’t touch anything in relation to music, it made me sad and felt pointless. Now, the beautiful thing about music is it has a power (over me anyway) to be the thing you can turn to when you’re happy or sad or depressed because you’re a musician in a pandemic. I finally sat down one day and poured my fears and hopes into a song, being the therapy that music always brings. This is of course becomes now new single “Stealing from My Youth”.
One may wonder about the title and lyrics while listening to it, I’m not sure anyone would directly know I was talking about COVID and the isolation I was experiencing at the time but for me it’s the ballad of 2020. In the verses the background vocals and main melody are like a conversation you have in your head, going back and forth talking to yourself in and out of ups and downs. The chorus tag and song title were me expressing my frustration with being away from friends and community, not being able to play gigs and live life normally. It felt at times like the pandemic was taking days away from me, stealing from my youth. I also express hope in the song, that maybe going inward is exactly what we all needed in this constantly buzzing, busy life. Maybe slowing down for a while was actually a good thing, and looking back at the start of pandemic I believe that to be true. Actually a lot of good came from this chaotic situation, not that I’m loving on the pandemic. It did lead me to write this song, which I’m very proud of and then allowed for an interesting recording process.
I reached out to Spencer (OCL Studios, Calgary) once I had a fairly strong demo of SFMY. This was our first time working together and even though the timing to release new music felt odd, I also really wanted to hear this song come to life. Spencer shared my love of the oldies and for this track, my inspiration to have a 1970’s groovy old school vibe. Back in May, things were still fairly unsure so we decided to trade tracks back and forth online, working distantly. He started off using the base tracks I already had (so lots of my original programmed drums, keys and some layers are still on the final version). He added lots of new layers and then all the way into August I made it to the studio to have one day of in person (safe) recording.
Studio time, if you’re not a musician, is magical. I would love to find a space beside the console and just live in the studio if I could. I was so excited because we had Justin Kudding coming in to lay down bass and Johnny Summers to record real horns! I was a kid in a candy shop. I’d like to say that Spencer Cheyne is an insanely gifted and wonderful human. He was just as excited as me to create this ’70s inspired track and got as stoked as me every time Justin gave us a groovy, smooth as butter bass take, or Johnny riffed on some mean bluesy trumpet line or I sang my brains out. Honestly the talent in that room was unreal, my mind was being blown all day. Even as I did my vocal takes, Spencer would chime in and be so encouraging and get me to pull just a bit more raw emotion into it. The day was long but I wish it was longer. We pieced a lot of things together while I was there and then Spencer continued to remotely send me updated versions until we had our final mix.
Cut to about a month later and I had the final version and was ready to set a release date. I didn’t want to rush releasing the song but I also felt that this track, again for me, is a song of 2020 and it has to come out in 2020. Restrictions (in Alberta anyway) loosened up over summer and I strangely enough ended up playing more live shows than any other summer, go figure. All outdoor backyard private concerts or outdoor patio shows. People, after having having no live entertainment for months, seemed to be thirsty for it and I was lucky enough to get a full busy summer of shows, for possibly the most receptive audiences of my life. It was quite the turn around from where I was at in the beginning of the pandemic when I wrote this song.
I’m beyond grateful for having had a summer of being on stage again and seeing friends in person and having a really memorable season. I do believe though that this new single will resonate. The pandemic isn’t over even if we got a taste of “normal life”, I know so many musicians who haven’t have any shows since March, I know people who couldn’t go back into society as much as others could. I know that as winter draws near, we are seeing that the pandemic didn’t disappear and I can sense that tense feeling again not knowing the certainty of live shows and the music industry in general being on edge. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I am insanely grateful to have a song to share about my little experience in all of this and I am also able to have a live in person release show (October 23 at Bo’s Bar & Stage, Red Deer with Wyatt C. Louis) which is incredible- and it’s SOLD OUT!!?!?! wow
So there’s my novella on the tale of this song, it’s process coming to life and my life through this process. I hope you’ll listen to Stealing from My Youth and at the very least feel the heart of a musician who is simply trying
Ssmiley Ssmile my friends 🙂
Check out my full post on Facebook here to see some sneaky behind the scenes clips!